Thursday, May 12, 2022

Coloring Pages at the Center

 

Parents and Grandparents, we would love to hear from you! We are working hard to bring Youth and Family back to our Center, and we want to be sure we're providing the loving support that you and your children most need.
Would you consider filling out the short survey below to tell us what you're looking for in a Youth and Family program? We greatly appreciate your input.

Based on our visioning practice with friends, parents, and former volunteers in Youth and Family, we've started providing coloring pages for young people attending services and have set up a station with small chairs and tables in our social hall where children can visit and color. we've started pinning the artwork on our walls, like these recent Mother's Day greetings. 

We will expand our coloring pages to include spiritual lessons and guides so that families have something to take home and enjoy.

For a whole family experience, consider Rev. Russ's monthly Spirit Walks - watch this spot for updated information about future walks and contact Rev. Russ about the difficulty level and appropriateness for young ones.


Lots of love,

Edward Viljoen, Senior Minister




Friday, November 19, 2021

November 2021 Update



As 2021 edges into the holiday season and a brand new year is emerging on the horizon, we want to acknowledge with much love and appreciation all of the care and dedication Susan Robinson has put into creating and maintaining this extraordinary resource for parents and children of all ages. Although Susan has moved on from her position as Youth and Family Ministry Director at the Center, we will keep her blog posts available for the valuable inspiration they provide.

Kind regards and best wishes,
Allan Yeager
Webmaster and Communications Officer


Sunday, September 19, 2021

When the road gets rocky - Values: Meditation - Faith - Friends

When I sat down to write this weeks blog I had a personal giggle as I looked at the topic for this week "When the road gets rocky." The giggle was in retrospect over my personal experiences this week, which have indeed been a bit rocky. Yet my faith, meditation practices along with great friends and family, were there to support me in knowing my highest good and well being. 

One such experience occurred Tuesday morning. After arriving at work I had a strange experience of foggy vision where I could only see clearly looking straight on. My boss (who is also a great friend) was immediately concerned and suggested we go to the ER. On the way there, I closed my eyes and went into a state of meditation knowing answers were on the way. While going through several CT scan's of my brain, I remained calm by mentally chanting, "My good is my God, my God is my good" over and over until the scans were complete. While I waited for the test results, I had a lovely and comforting conversation with my son. Through it all I had faith that I was in the right place at the right time, surrounded by the right people who were there for my highest and best good! The tests came back clear and I left with a diagnosis of ocular migraine w/o pain. Thank you, Spirit! 

I am reminded that regardless of where we are on the road of life, or within our parenting experience, there will always be rocky moments. Moments where we might not immediately know the answers or how to proceed, however that does not mean the answers are not available or that we can not access them. With faith, trust and tapping into our inner state of peace, we humans can and do get through the bumps in life. 

"Peace doesn't deny difficulty, but it has an inner calm and quietness even while enduring the difficulty." Glenn C. Stewart
Prayer is powerful. It can be done anywhere, anytime and reaching out for prayer support is another way to open to Peace. 

If you are in need of prayer or wish to look into what our local center has available for prayer support click either of the links below. You will likely receive a redirect notice, just click the link in the redirect and it will take you to the pages on our Center's website. Licensed Prayer Practitioners are also available on a fee for service basis. 

https://cslsr.org/spiritual-support/

https://cslsr.org/members/practitioners/

"Seek to make your work a prayer, your believing an act, your living an art. It is then that the object of your faith will be made visible to you." Ernest Holmes

Having a good support system or friend network to tap into is also helpful. This applies to parents and children. Having a quiet space in your home can also be very helpful. Calm down corners are quite popular. You can fill them with stuffed animals, books, meditation timers, finger labyrinths you name it. There are many ideas on the internet if you need a little help getting started. 

Research and knowledge can also be helpful. Having good safety practices in place can help when an emergency arrises. Below is a link to the US Department of Health and Human Services - Safety practices for Toddlers and more. While this article mostly talks about younger children there are two links at the bottom with more tips. 

https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/safety-practices/article/tips-keeping-infants-toddlers-safe-developmental-guide-home-visitors-toddlers

Love, Love and more Love ~ It may sound corny...and, I have found that Love is often the answer too many things. In situations of challenge, upset, confusion or distress it is often a cry for Love I am seeking, or some degree of deep understanding and compassion which I define as a loving act. 

When we can pay it forward in Love for others, it deepens our Faith and bond of friendship. 

This week if your road gets a bit rocky or if you witness others in a rocky spot, remember you are not only supported by a Power of Good - the Power of God/Spirit/Life/LOVE ~ that Power lives within you. And you have a community that you can turn to for support and prayer when needed. 

Books to explore: 

Love - by Matt de la Pena

Where ever you are my love will find you - by Nancy Tillman

The Magical Yet - by Angela Di Terlizzi

Blessings to you all ~ 
Susan

Photo credit to the artist on Unsplash.com Melissa Askew, Alexey Demidov & Alvin Madmudov




Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Upward Spiral ~ Values: Positivity, Kindness, Caring

The theory of the Upward Spiral points to the power of positivity and the use of tools that help shift our mindset when we feel like we are out of balance, off center, or mentally stuck. No matter who we are, or where we live, there are moments in life that can benefit from a practice of self reflection, positive mindset and self care. 

We can all be ambassadors for positivity and kindness. It begins with us. When we act out of compassion, love and kindness for ourself we set an example for others to do the same. 

From the Science of Mind Virtues Card: Caring “Caring is giving love and attention to people and things that matter to you. When you care about people you say and do things that help them. When you do a careful job, you give it your best effort. Caring comes from within. It is a sign of love. When you care for someone, you notice how they feel and what they need. Caring is a special way of paying attention.”

While this quote speaks to caring for others, it applies to caring for ourselves too. There are so many ways we can practice self care. It's good to have a few different ways to practice so you can be at choice when the need arrises. It could be mindfulness activities, reading, doing art, meditating, listening to calm music, taking a bath, going for a walk in nature and more. 

Take a moment and think of 5 ways you practice self care and self kindness. Come up with 3 new ways to add to your list. 

"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment. Stephen Covey

Spirals are in nature too. The leaf of a fern first forms in a spiral. As it is nurtured by the soil and sunlight, it slowly unfurls up and outward. Sunflowers have two spirals at their center that form a beautiful pattern. Sea shells often have a spiral pattern too. Even our finger prints contain spirals. It's another great example of our personal connection with all of life. What other form of nature spirals or patterns can you think of? 

There are so many cool quotes about the healing power on nature. 

"Allow natures peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees." John Muir

"I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order." John Burroughs

"Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

"Nature is my manifestation of God." Frank Lloyd Wright

The next time you feel yourself out of balance or noticing that your self talk is less than kind, turn to nature or one of your favorite forms of self care. Create the positive shift in your mind and imagine the image of the upward spiral. Then allow it to pull you up. Practice Kindness & Positivity in all you do. You'll be glad you did. 

Music/Videos: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H98Rfljxmsc - Kindness Song by Juicebox Jukebox

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXAo_5voOP0 - Kindness is a Muscle - a sing along song by Universal Kids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc - Tim McGraw - Humble and Kind

Books:

Happy - a Children's book of Mindfulness by Nicola Edwards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvCN4cnMNow

Chicken Soup for little souls the Goodness Gorillas - by Lisa Mccourt and Pat Porter https://justbooksreadaloud.com/ReadToMe.php?vid=ChickenSoupGoodnessGorilla

The Way I Act - by Steve Metzger 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW_Gr6A-hpE

Kindness Quilt - by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 

Travel the upward spiral with kindness this week. 
Blessings ~ 

Gratitude to our Unsplash.com photographers Timothy Dykes and Kristen Macadam



 


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Reaching Higher - Values: Faith - Connection - Action


Hello friends and families. Happy September. It's Labor Day weekend and for some of us, it's a weekend break from the labor of the work week. A great time to recharge, refuel and to do a bit of reaching higher in the realm of cultural and spiritual transformation. 

For me it's right on time as I've been in a whirlwind of life events, mostly joyful ones, with a few challenges too. Yet that's life, right? Always changing, never static and full of things that grab our attention. Sometimes those attention grabbing things toss us off balance. At least that's true for me. So today, it was great to take it slow and get some Spiritual soul food from my Center from the comfort of home. Perfect timing as I noticed my mind was trending into the darkness a bit. And don't you know.. Rev. Edward Viljoen had just the words and message to help me reach higher in my own thinking. 

Below are a few points from today's talk. A blueprint if you will, of things we can do to reach higher in our thinking and doing: 

Let our minds reach higher into the field of infinite possibility and make a habit out of that! We've got to NOT accept that whatever is going on is the end of the line! We've got to rise above the average thinking of the world and do it daily (Rise UP!!) Let yourself play in the field of imagination and nurture the habit of imagining a greater yet to be, beyond what is currently going on. 

Then... practice, practice, practice!

Heres a bit more from me. Once you've set yourself in the mindset of possibility... go do the things that make a positive impact on your life and in the world. Speak up for those who are unable to speak up for themselves. Offer assistance to someone in need. Find that which is yours to do and don't just talk about it, do it! 

Nurture the habit of kindness ~ compassion ~ connection. Yes, Yes and YES.

There is a phrase that is common in metaphysical classes,  don't tell God how big your problems are... tell your problems how big your God is!!! 

None of us are immune to negative thinking, overwhelm or negative self talk. We ebb and flow through life with challenges and moments of joy, it is the way of things. The practice then becomes recognizing when we are in the unhelpful states of mind and switching direction to put ourselves on the path of light. Remembering our higher and greater truth. That there is an unlimited source of Love, Life, Divine Intelligence and IT is poised and ready for us to reach higher. To activate our attention to what is possible, not what is limiting. 

When I feel I am stuck - or that something new is happening and I'm not sure how I wish to move forward... it's time to dive deep into the truth of my being and remember who I am and what it is that supports me in every moment of every day and every situation. The unlimited, eternal presence of LOVE is right where I am always. This is true for YOU too!!!  


I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you who are parents right now. After a year and a half of home schooling and changing your lives around, the children are back in school and there are more adjustments to manage. Please make sure to take time to refuel your Spiritual gas tank. If needed reach out to a Practitioner for prayer or an appointment to help you maintain your balance. We are all in this life together and having support to help us remember our dreams and spiritual truth is healthy choice. 

One of the things I do for me, when I feel off course or out of alignment with my greater good is turn to my favorite little book by Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called YOU. It, in no uncertain terms, tells me the truth of my being and the truth of all Life. It helps create the shift in my mental thinking that points me on the path of healing, wholeness and light. Keep in mind this book has a copyright from 1948, so the language is a bit... old school. Yet the meaning remains as powerful today as the day it was written. 

Here are a few random passages... (page quotes not added as they vary in the variety of publications.)

"My mind is open to new ideas. The Spirit is ever active in me. The Divine Mind is inexhaustible."

"I sense my oneness with all life. I enter into the joy of conscious union with the Infinite. There is One Mind, this Mind is God, this Mind is my mind now." 

"I place my affairs in the hands of goodness, love and wisdom. I place them there with supreme confidence. I have a childlike faith and trust in good. I know there is nothing between me and that which is best, I am filled with enthusiastic hope."

"I believe the Law of Good will bring every good and perfect thing to me and will bless everyone I contact. I know that the Law of Good is operating upon this idea. I speak this word with implicit confidence belief and acceptance. I know that it shall not return to me void. I know that I shall experience the good which I now affirm." 


Your September Parent Tip is to check out StorylineOnline! I've mentioned it before and it's worth the re-mention. I love this website. Parent tip.. If there is a Teachers guide with the book or a Creative guide ~ look through them. They offer great conversation points for you to have with your children, or activities that you can do at home related to the stories. 

One of the books for September is Chester's Way. What I love about this book is that it demonstrates the comfort we all fall into when things are as we like them to be and how uncomfortable things can be when change is present. Yet... if we stretch a bit beyond or comfort zone, we may find there's more than we may be allowing ourselves to see. I also love that it is read out loud and with American Sign Language (ASL). It's a great way for children to learn that there are more ways than one to communicate. 

There are a lot of other great books to explore too! 

Peace and Blessings to you all ~ 
Susan 

Photo credits from Unsplash.com - photographers Jared Rice, Nick Fewings, Toni Reed, and Natasha Tirtabrat.

 


Monday, August 23, 2021

Voices of our Youth - What Faith Means to Me?

 

 

 

Voices of our Youth - What Faith Means to Me?
 

Please join us for conversation and wisdom sharing with our youth. We will view a short video created by youth of CSL Oakland and East Bay Church, have a youth panel focusing on what faith means to me and share in break out rooms to put it all together.

 

Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee Host Lynne Daniels, RScP and the Youth Panel.

 

 

Monday, August 23, 2021 
6:00 p.m. Pacific | 7:00 p.m. Mountain | 8:00 p.m. Central | 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Duration: 90-minutes



Welcoming all Ministers, Practitioners and CSL Community Members
Please Share 

 

These events will be closed captioned.

Please send any questions about this event to: inclusion@csl.org

 

Diversity Inclusion Webinar Recording Disclaimer:
These webinars will be recorded for public distribution and therefore extends no expectation of confidentiality of the likeness, identity, or information shared by any of the presenters or participants. By registering and attending this webinar, you are acknowledging your awareness that you are being recorded and that this recording will be publicly distributed as deemed appropriate by the
CSL Diversity Equity Inclusion Commission.

 

Centers for Spiritual Living 
573 Park Point Drive   |  Golden, Colorado, 80401
Phone: 720-496-1370  |  Fax: 303-526-0913

© 2013 Centers for Spiritual Living

 



Sunday, July 25, 2021

Summertime Spiritual Vision ~ Values: Fun - Love - Faith


"Faith is like WiFi. It's invisible but has the power to connect you to what you need." Anonymous 

Summer is the season of fun in the sun, outdoor play, camping, family vacations, BBQ's and more. It's easy to see the beauty and wonder of Life when you are engaged in such activities with family and friends. 

Each and every one of us is an expression of Divine Good. We are all a loving essence of energy that radiates goodness, love, peace, joy and light into every aspect of our life and the lives of those around us. The power of this Divine essence resides in each of us equally and it's up to us to activate it, to cultivate it and to celebrate it every day.

"If we disconnect ourselves from the past and find ourselves firmly rooted in God today, in love, in hope in joyful expectancy, and in grateful acknowledgment, and if we learn to harmonize with everything that transpires today, tomorrow will blossom like a new flower in our experience." Living the Science of Mind" 


There are always going to be days that don't go the way we had hoped they would. It may feel like we are on a giant spinning wheel that never stops. In times like these, it's good to take a spiritual time out. That may look like a giving ourself some quiet time or engaging in a solo activity like reading or doing something creative. 


It's also a great time to remember a few spiritual truths, that Spirit is everywhere and in all things. There is a power for good and we can (and do) use it. And, that Life is always for us and never agains us. 


If you were to paint a picture in your mind for what you would like to experience tomorrow, what would it look like? If you were to give it a word, what would that word be? What good feelings from today would you like to feel brand new tomorrow? 


"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because of love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone." Leo Tolstoy

What if, we all make a commitment today to build something great that will carry us all forward into tomorrow that makes a loving impact. How big is the good you can imagine? What is one thing you can do to make a difference? What loving act are you willing and ready to do now that will have a lasting impact? What great wonderful thing will you build today? 

Your invitation is to do what ever it is with LOVE, with Fun and always with Faith.

Affirmations:

I have the power within me to make a positive impact in the world.

I am an expression of Love.

I am filled with joy and I spread it everywhere I go.

I have faith and it supports me in all I do, say and think. 

Mindfulness:

Today's invitation is to check out the website Bits of Positivity. 
www.bitsofpositvity.com  (not a hyper link). 

There is so much to explore on this web site, including great resources for mindfulness activities. 

Books:

Here is another awesome tip... Check out Storyline Online which can be found at 
www.storylineonline.net (also not a hyperlink).

Lots of great books that are videos read by members of the Screen Actors Guild. Often below the books are links to activities that go with the books and even lesson plans that link with the story of the book. There are featured books for the month, and a great library of stories to choose from.  

Thank YOU!!! 

To all who have been tuning into this blog this year, I want to express my gratitude. You have encouraged me and lifted my spirit in ways that have been so unexpected.
The project of creating a weekly blog this year was out of a desire to bring Spiritual lessons, practices as well as principles and values to families during the pandemic. 

Now that it's summertime and things are opening up a bit more, I am going to take a break in writing at least for the month of August. (My personal summer vacation.) 

Keep your hearts open ~ your minds stayed on Spirit ~ and know that you are LOVE in action... in all you are, say, do and think. 

Pray up my friends. 
Susan ~ 

(Thank you once again to Unsplash.com - Hannah Morgan, Noah Stillman and Marcin Skalij for the great photos)


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